Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Good times, they are a comin'

I'll be brief for now... John and I are going to the village tonight for the big, fat halloween parade. There will be photographic evidence presented before too long.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

If the pace in New York is fast...

...you can imagine how overjoyed I've been on crutches.

Oh, yeah. I'm a champ.

I didn't do anything ridiculous, like fall down or trip or anything. I've been training myself to run longer and longer distances on the treadmill, and I was up to just over two miles last week. Anyway, at the end of a run, I felt something odd happening in my right knee, just at the kneecap. It wasn't crippling pain, but it was definitely noteworthy. I finished up the rest of the mile, which was only a couple of minutes, then did the rest of my workout on the elyptical machine. I felt some soreness, but that was all. After about twenty minutes in the sauna and a good hot shower, I still felt it, but figured it would pass.

Obviously, it didn't. Well, sort of. The pain of walking has gone away pretty much altogether. That is, unless I'm going up stairs. Or down stairs. Or up and down curbs. Or walking on any sort of incline. Gee... good thing there aren't any of those in New York.

After a few days of trying to work and wince through stairs and ramps and such, I decided to pay a visit to my local quack shack (aka university clinic), just so I could say I had someone look at it. The doctor there said... well, let's just say she didn't hide her concern. I think her exact words were "Wow... it's really not supposed to crunch like that when you bend it. I think it's time for crutches."

Lovely. So now I'm on crutches. I use them as an assist, really, so I still walk on the leg, but I don't bend it at all on stairs anymore, and I take elevators any time I can. Like I said, I can walk just fine, but I'd rather be overly cautious than end up with a life-long knee injury. Besides, I'll be seeing an orthopedic doctor soon, so hopefully I'll have solved this mystery and gotten on with running again before too long. Still, to hell with crutches. Chances are, I won't use them any more, if I can help it. I'll just hop around on one leg when necessary. After all, the shiny new bruises under my arms from the crutch tops will need their own time to heal. Needless to say, I'm a little miffed. I can't work out, I can't go up and down stairs like a normal human, I can't put on pants without having to mind this ridiculous knee wrapping... Yeah, I'm not so cheerfull. But yes, it'll pass, and yes, I've been through worse. I'll manage... no worries.

On a far sadder note, John's grandmother passed away this weekend, and it's been very sad for both of us. Were it not for finances and schedule insanity, we'd have hopped on a plane to San Antonio to be with her, but we had to settle for John talking to her on speaker phone while she was pretty well unconscious. It was terrible. Everyone was very supportive and understanding about our not being there, and John has sent a special ancient coin we recently found, an interesting Roman coin with a cross on it, to be burried with her (courtesy of John's sister, Jennifer). I think John felt better when he resolved himself to the gesture, and so did I, for both our sakes. You'll be missed, Gandma Veale.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sitting on my benchmarks

It rained all day on my brithday. I stayed home for most of it, alone, working on a number of things for classes, conferences, teaching preparations, and so on. In the evening, I went to the Bronx for a choir rehearsal, then came straight home. My umbrella was broken, so I got rained on pretty nicely on the way back. Happy birthday to me.

On the other hand, I got some pretty fantastic presents. Chuck sent me a TiVo box with a year's worth of service. I love Chuck. He understands me. Then there was John's gift (which he announced was only one of a few), a new iPod video. I love John. He understands me. It would appear that both husbands did exceptionally well on the gift-giving front this birthday. Mom sent me a planner (she sent me the same thing last year... at least she's consistent) and a card. Thanks, mom. I got phonecalls from a good many folks, several emails and texts of well-wishing. All in all, I felt pretty well thought of.

The question, then, is whether or not I felt thirty.

Mom said something interesting to me when she called to wish me a happy birthday. She said, "I'm glad that you're at the age you're at." Since most of what my mother says requires some further explanation, I asked for it. She told me that she was reflecting on my age, and that she must therefore be pretty old, but that she didn't feel old at all, so she hoped that I didn't feel old either. (See what I mean by 'needing explanation'?) So, then, do I feel old?


I mean, have you seen the way I live? No, I think I'm just fine with being thirty. I look okay, feel okay, and all my parts move fine. I sing, I fence, I do academic crap, I go out and do the occassional social bit... I've got few complaints. Mind you, I get a little anxious now and then when I think about how the hell I'm going to eventually pay off my student loans, but whatever... live in the now, right? And right now, it happens to be birthday week. Haunting thoughts of student loans be damned.

I've got tons of work this week. No matter... I should find a way to enjoy myself over the next few days. Like work ever stopped me...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Clear-eyed and counting down

To my birthday, that is. I imagine it's a momentous age, thirty, but it doesn't really feel that way. Perhaps when it's closer. But what am I at now... six more days? How much closer can it get?

Well, it could be here. That would be closer.

I've seen two very different approaches to turning thirty, from men and women alike. They either A) get really depressed, or at least feign being really depressed in order to accumulate sympathy from the people around them who are pretending to care, or B) go out in a blaze of glory, in a sense, partying their brains out like they're turning twenty-one again... basically, fighting the inclination to fall prey to the above-mentioned option A.

As for me, I'm not sensing myself leaning toward either one. I'm not trying to be original or anything... I'm just not feeling it. Mind you, I'm not totally ambivalent about it, either. I'm actually very happy to be turning thirty. There was a time in my life when I didn't think I was going to see this birthday, so that's a good thing. Of course, it reminds me that I'm constantly riding out the odds, and each passing year provides me with another chance to give medical fate the finger, in a manner of speaking. Well, in a manner of speaking that's very much my manner of speaking, I guess. Thirty is looking better and better, the more I think about it. And I do think about it a lot, but I can't seem to make myself depressed about it.

For starters, I'm doing a lot better than I ever thought I would at this point, and not just healthwise. Not only is my life pretty cool, but I'm cool! I finally made it to cool! And trust me, it's been a long, ackward time coming. I'm living in New York, I'm about to finish my first album (which is now being sequenced and finally reproduced), I'm en route to getting my PhD in something that makes me sound kinda smart and respectable, and I'm in love with someone who seems to reciprocate the sentiment pretty much on a voluntary basis.


For my thirtieth, I think I'll have a party. I'll invite some people, and about half of them will show if I'm lucky, but we'll have fun anyway. I'll celebrate the thing, feel good about it, and end up looking and feeling pretty much the same as I did at twenty-nine. Of course, minus last week's pink eye and since my most recent hair straightening a couple of days ago (and for the curious, yes, it actually lasted a year), the looks might be a tad different. But hell, I'm just glad to be around.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Homebound and winking at it

No, really. It's pink eye. I hate everything and everyone.

I can't leave th house, of course, because I'm contageous. I'm a big, goopy mess, and I have to sit around and study. I can't go to the gym, I can't go to choir tonight. Did I mention my hatred for the world?

No matter. I'm keeping occupied (see below... thanks a lot, Chrissie... like I didn't have enough crap that I needn't be wasting my time doing). My right eye inks constantly, without my having any say in the matter.


Just to further emphasize my omnidirectional hatred, I'm making the world deal with this image. Taste my pain!

Sure, I believe it

And why not, right? Actually, I'm a little happy about the androgeny my face seems to portray.

Monday, October 02, 2006

What could have been, how much it's worth

I had plans this weekend... lots of them. It was going to be fruitful and productive, and I was going to get to the end of it feeling very proud of everything I'd accomplished.

So much for that.

John and I completely slacked off. I think we each got some reading done, but that was about it. And the reading is no small thing, of course... He's reading Sallust, I'm reading Freud... so yeah, not exactly chump change. Still, it's got nothing on the plans we'd made. I was going to get chores done, errands run, studying out of the way. Yeah.

To be honest, I'm doing it again. Right now, I'm supposed to be working on a problem for regression analysis... I'm sitting in a computer lab, pretending to have SPSS open. I can't do it... my head is killing me, and it's time for dinner. Enough with the numbers, already.

I think back on the days when I liked math... I can't remember any such days. I kind of detest it, to be honest. Sure, it's a big part of what I do, but I don't have to like it. It's a necessary evil, as far as I'm concerned. After all, math is more of my dad's thing. Kind of explains why, despite my continuous efforts, I fail to feel much warmth in the math area.

Speaking of which... it's dad's birthday. I think he's 57 now. Usually, when his birthday comes along, it reminds me that mine's only a couple of weeks away. This time, I've sent our gift to him via mail (I think he'll be getting it in a few weeks, according to the company I ordered it from). I think he'll like it. If he doesn't, it's out of my hands, and I can say that I tried, which is usually the way I choose to see most all things where my dad is concerned. If nothing else, I can tell him how much the gift was worth, and it'll probably score me some points with him. Call it shallowness on his part if you want... I choose to see it as a choice of priority placement, and that's where dad seems to place his more often than not. It's not his fault, really... it's the American way. Or maybe it's the American immigrant way... to be more overt about it, that is. Let's face it... the value that tends to matter most to us all is usually of the monetary variety, despite our best intentions. I don't think it's altogether bad, just peculiar that we don't feel comfortable about it. When people find out what I do, they make assumptions about the money I'll eventually make. Funnier still is the fact that I let them.

Happy birthday, dad.